Hallowe'en Rift, Mendip Hills

Excursions [and other notes] involved in the exploration of Hallowe'en Rift; a cave, so far, formed within Triassic Dolomitic Conglomerate.

The exploration of Hallowe'en Rift was started in 1982 by Trevor Hughes with other members of the Bristol Exploration Club, then during the early 1990's Vince Simmonds and other, mostly, local diggers were active at a number of locations within the cave, including the start of the present dig with Graham Johnson in December 1991. The current phase of exploration was commenced in 2009, with the majority of the early work being carried out by Vince Simmonds and Alex Gee, now the regular team includes Rob 'Tav' Taviner, Graham 'Jake' Johnson, Nick Hawkes, Matt Tuck, Jonathon Riley, Paul 'Brockers' Brock, Roz Simmonds, Duncan Price and Mike Moxon. There has been occasional help from others including Mike Willett, John 'Tangent' Williams, Pete Bolt, Bob Smith, Callum and Hazel Simmonds, with regular guest appearances by that well-known antipodean, Ray Deasy.

25th May 2019

digging 2019Posted by Vince Simmonds Sat, May 25, 2019 21:03:46

With Duncan, Brockers, Jon, Nick and Tav

I had to collect some supplies at 09:00 and then met the team at the Hunter’s 10:00. From there we drove down to the farm. I stayed behind for a while at the farm to prep things, the others got changed and made their way up to the cave to get digging underway, they carried some of my stuff up to the cave with them. When I had thing sorted I made my way up to Hallowe’en Rift to join the others.

The digging team had decided to dig in the Soft South, I picked up my bags and other gear and headed to the Cold Gnarly North. My plan was to apply some induced rapid speleogenesis and enlarge the next pinch-point and so ease progress towards our objective. The puddle wasn’t quite as dry as had been predicted and there was still some slurry in places, nothing to worry about too much. Dragged the kit through the constriction and drilled 4no. holes, 12mm dia. x 550mm length. There wasn’t any sediment around suitable for tamp so decided to make my way up to the terminal [at least for now] aven. Looking around I found a ‘ball’ of mud, Trevor’s ‘ball of tamp’. I returned to the focus of today and completed the next phase, and then, pushing all my kit ahead, made my way south, unravelling the wire as I went.

The digging team were just finishing up, 100 bags and a rock, the tally for this session. When all were out of the cave, the proceedings were brought to a satisfactory end. The cave entrance secured, we made our way back down to the farm in the warm sunshine, got changed and up to the Hunter’s for refreshments.

Some of the afternoon was spent cleaning kit.

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